Moments before being voted out, the Westchester County Board of Legislators Chairwoman, Catherine Borgia, resigned her leadership position. This resignation was spurred after legislation was proposed to remove her when revelations that her employee, Anand Singh, had potentially committed child sex crimes and she only took disciplinary action after the public release of a Youtube video.
In December 2022, an amateur group called OBL Global commenced an undercover sting operation that seems to have caught Anand Singh soliciting sex from a presumed 14 year-old girl. Singh was a former Yonkers City Hall staffer and was a Westchester BOL legislative aide at the time of the incident. Days after the sting, a viewer of the OBL operation reported Singh’s actions to two sitting Westchester legislators. Legislators Smith and Boykin were notified because they led the committees to which Singh was assigned.
Both Smith and Boykin transmitted this information to the BOL clerk for their records. Smith also notified Chairwoman Catherine Borgia. As Chair, staffers like Singh report directly to her office. Borgia released a statement that she had directed the matter to the Department of Public Safety. However, our reporting indicates that Commissioner of that department, Terrance Raynor, advised Borgia to fire Anand Singh. But, Borgia only terminated Singh after the public release of a full Youtube video describing Singh’s actions was released on April 13th.
Calls for Resignation
Calls for Borgia’s resignation trickled in, culminating in a broader statement statement from the BOL on April 24th. In a quote given to Black Westchester Magazine, Borgia rejected the suggestion to step-down, and called this demand part of a “witch hunt.” But then, legislators decided to no longer ask.
A formal vote was originally scheduled for April 26th to remove Borgia from the office of Chair. The board cancelled all committee meetings this week and a special meeting was to commence at 4pm. However, Borgia filed for a restraining order against the BOL to prevent them from this historic move. After two days wait, the court declared that the board was within its rights to evict Borgia from her leadership position. A new vote was then scheduled for April 28th.
The final resolution outlines four failures that Borgia was to be held accountable for:
- The Board Chair failed to consult with relevant County Departments which could have provided risk assessment and guidance such as the County Human Resources and the Law Departments
- The Board Chair failed to communicate with other Board members, specifically Board Leadership, to ensure that the risks associated with the Sexual Allegation were appropriately assessed and addressed.
- The Board Chair failed to adequately protect Board staff, guests and the institution
- Board members have lost confidence that Catherine Borgia can lead the Board.
However, instead of being removed by vote, Borgia resigned immediately before the special meeting commenced. With Borgia vacating the office, Vice Chair Nancy E. Barr assumes that role temporarily. A full vote on a new Chair will be held within 60 days. Insiders speculate that Barr will win that vote and a new Vice Chair will then also be voted upon.
Despite this change in leadership, an investigation into the BOL’s handing of the Singh allegations is still underway.